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Learning Disabilities

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By: Suzie Dalien, M.Ed.

Learning Disabilities | Special Education Resource

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn,” (N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2014). This sentiment by educator Ignacio Estrada perfectly sums up the state of education in the world today. So many children are struggling with trying to keep up with their peers, despite a learning disability of some sort. It’s time to reevaluate the ways we teach those who learn in a manner that is a bit different than what is traditionally considered standard.

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDAA) defines learning disabilities (LD) and specific learning disabilities (SLD) as problems with the way our neurological system processing information. Processing problems such as these can interfere with a person’s ability to learn basic skills such as reading, writing, and math. Learning disabilities can also cause problems with time management, organization, and abstract concepts or reasoning.

What Are The Causes Of Learning Disabilities?

There is very little informational research that provides concrete evidence of what might cause a learning disability, but we can infer a few possibilities from general observation of the child. Not every child matures or develops at the same rate as their peers and being emotionally behind the others means they cannot be expected to do the same type of work.

Other Causes Of Learning Disabilities Could Include:

  • The misinterpretation of sounds and sights based on a neurological impairment
  • Injuries that occurred before birth or in early childhood
  • Premature birth or early childhood medical conditions
  • Genetic predisposition to hereditary conditions such as learning disabilities
  • Gender might play a role, seeing as how boys sometimes develop slower than girls
  • The unusual, irregular structure of words, spelling, and pronunciation in the English language, which can confuse some children

Four Types Of Learning Disabilities;

The different types of learning disabilities are identifiable to all by their specific processing problem in the brain. These are related to:

  • Input– getting information into the brain
  • Organization– making sense of this information
  • Memory– storing and later retrieving this information
  • Output– getting this information back out

Learning disabilities can affect how a person performs certain actions such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Math

A learning disability can also be characterized by the following:

  • Difficulties with emotional and social skills
  • Lack of appropriate coping mechanisms
  • Troubles that appear during normal growth and development
  • Acting differently towards different people
  • A measurable gap between what the child is expected to learn and how they’re performing

One of the more common learning disabilities is dyslexia, which is when a person has trouble with phonological processing. This means that those who suffer from dyslexia have issues with single word decoding, often seeing letters as appearing backward or rearranged in a word. It is not related to other academic or cognitive abilities, which means dyslexia does not define intelligence. Those who suffer from dyslexia often have a hard time learning to read, spell or write with proficiency.

Special Education Services;

If you feel your child is showing signs of a learning disability, it’s time to seek professional help for a qualified diagnosis along with starting the process of creating an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). All children are guaranteed a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), and this is especially true for children with special needs. Special education services do a great deal in assisting children with special needs during a regular school day. Learning disabilities, however, continue after the school day and extend well into homework and self-study activities.

Special Education Tutoring;

Supplemental learning through special education tutoring helps ease the frustration often felt when a child with special needs is overwhelmed academically. Supplemental learning with a special education tutor takes the curriculum currently being taught in the child’s classroom and molds it to fit their specific learning needs. Children with learning disabilities benefit greatly from special education tutoring. They typically see a massive increase in test scores and grades, along with a significant decrease in behavior issues often associated with the frustration caused by being overwhelmed academically.

Whatever path you choose for your child, remember knowledge is power, and in the vast world of special education you can never have too much!



This entry was posted on Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at and is filed under Special Education Labeling and tagged as , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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